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Issues & Victories

Public Safety

GCC Takes Action on Gun Violence and Overcharging

On May 29, 2014, GCC gathered 1,000 people at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church to  to call for shutting down the felon factory in Cuyahoga County and stopping the flow of illegal guns into our communities.

Together, GCC announced that we would no longer accept drug abuse criminalization and gun violence. "Until now we have given our silent consent for a culture that sends our youths, our families, our neighbors to prison for non-violent, low-level drug abuse – and they are labeled as felons on their life resume” said Rabbi Josh Caruso, GCC Co-Chair. “Until now we have given silent consent to the proliferation of guns in our society. Until now we have given silent consent as guns are illegally trafficked from the suburbs to the city – and back again.” 

Bishop Douglas Miles of the Industrial Areas Foundation Board of Directors, who traveled from Baltimore for the Action, called on GCC "to continue to move away from the shore and into deep waters" where there is more risk but even greater reward.

At the action, County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty agreed to meet with GCC within 45 days. GCC will press Prosecutor McGinty to report specifically what he will do to end the practice of pursuing felony charges for persons arrested for low-level, non-violent drug abuse by sending these cases back to the appropriate city prosecutors, who can charge these offenses as misdemeanors. 

Metro IAF Trip to Lobby European Gunmakers a Success

In early December, a team of Metro IAF delegates-- Rev. David Brawley of EBC, Bishop Douglas Miles of BUILD, Rev. Patrick O'Connor of EQUAL (Queens), and Joe Morris and Rabbi Joel Mosbacher of NJ Together -- travelled to Europe, seeking to engage gun manufacturers and other potential allies in efforts to reduce gun violence in the U.S.  Their focus was on three manufacturers who supply the bulk of the police guns in the U.S. and many of the military guns:  Glock in Austria, SIG Sauer in Germany, and Beretta in Italy.

With the help of DICO in Germany, and allies in Italy, they met with key leaders in government, industry, religious life, unions and media.  They found a shared interest in meeting the demand for safer guns and better distribution practices -- demand they are working to create among mayors, police chiefs, etc. at home.  

Here is a roundup of press and blog coverage of the trip and related developments at home.  Google Translate gives you a rough sense of what the German and Italian articles say.



NY, NJ clergymen to lobby European gun makers to toughen rules for U.S. sales - NY Daily News

Religious Leaders Head To Europe To Lobby Gun Execs For Changes « CBS New York

Preventing Gun Violence a Year After Newtown | Rabbi Joshua Stanton

Newtown: A Year Later - Around Town - Rye, NY Patch

AP News: AP: NJ city to quiz gun vendors on safety issues

Jersey City mayor to other cities: Use police purchasing power to curb gun violence : page 1 -

Dec. 14, 2013 – Remembering Nelson Mandela

My Heart is in the West | Fresh Updates from RAC

NJJN: Clergy seek new allies in slowing gun toll



Gunmakers could make 'tremendous difference' | World | DW.DE | 13.12.2013

Winnenden: Kein amerikanisches Problem - Rems-Murr-Kreis - Stuttgarter Zeitung

Die Spur führt nach Deutschland - Wirtschaft - Sü

Gewalt an Schulen - Amerikaner zu Besuch in Winnenden


Italy (see bottom of page 6)

Le stragi degli Usa e gli affari di Beretta |Comune-info

Strage Newtown: la Beretta mette in sala d’attesa i delegati USA della Metro IAF / Si vis pacem... / Blog / Home - Unimondo

La Beretta si rifiuta di ricevere una delegazione interreligiosa dagli Stati Uniti

La Beretta rifiuta di ricevere una delegazione interreligiosa dagli Stati Uniti / Notizie / Home - Unimondo

Opal: Beretta non riceve delegazione interreligiosa amerciana | QuiBrescia

Un anno fa la strage di Newtown. Negli Usa le armi uccidono 30 mila persone - Redattore Sociale

Gardone Val Trompia:La Beretta rifiuta di ricevere una delegazione interreligiosa dagli Stati Uniti


Il silenzio delle fabbriche d'armi |Comune-info

Miles: "Beretta agisca per salvare vite anche negli Usa" | QuiBrescia

The Seismograph



US-Geistliche kämpfen in Europa gegen die Waffenlobby - Waffen - › Panorama

Weihnachtswunsch - Kolumne - Familie -




GCC supports historic Criminal Justice reform bill in Ohio

Greater Cleveland Congregations, alongside allies from across the state of Ohio, championed an innovative criminal justice reform bill that will reduce or eliminate many barriers to employment for ex-offenders returning to their home communities.  Governor John Kasich went to Greater Cleveland Congregations for a public bill signing ceremony and celebratory event in Cleveland on July 14, 2012.

Greater Cleveland Congregations gets commitments to reform the Cuyahoga County criminal justice system.

On Feb. 20, nearly 1000 people from 40 congregations across Cuyahoga County assembled to elicit commitments from all five candidates for County Prosector, including:

  1. Eliminating the practice of encouraging juviniles to waive their right to counsel.
  2. Reforming the County's data system to track and abolish the practice of overcharging.
  3. Reducing racial disparities in prosecution.
  4. Increasing diversion and treatment programs for you.

BUILD organizes to keep Baltimore neighborhoods safe.

In response to the tragic murder of 12-year old Sean Johnson, BUILD acted quickly to call on Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to allocate a permanent police foot patrol to keep the neighborhood safe. BUILD is working with Major Melvin Russell, Eastern District Police Commander, and the Mayor to improve public safety and provide opportunities for neighborhood youth.

South London Citizens launches City Safe initiative to reduce neighborhood violence.

  South London Citizens' pioneering work on safety has been widely recognised and is increasingly emulated by statutory bodies (City Hall, Metropolitan Police, Liverpool MET, local authority safety partnerships). The first retail City Safe zone, Lewisham Shopping Centre, scooped recent business awards due to its success at tackling crime, increasing positive youth role‐models, raising investment and building stronger business partnerships. This led to the endorsement of City Safe by Westfield who plan to adopt the scheme in their next retail development. Research shows that theft and violent incidents have fallen since City Safe has been implemented in Lewisham, where citizens, businesses and security staff are working together.


In the News

Five county prosecutor candidates pledge reform

Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Cleveland Jewish News

Five Democratic candidates for Cuyahoga County prosecutor promised criminal justice reforms to a standing-room only crowd nearly 1,000 at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple at a February 20 forum organized by Greater Cleveland Congregations. No Republican entered the race, so the March 6 Democratic primary will determine the next prosecutor.